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Australian Publisher Pulls Back Plans for China Book

November 14, 2017
 
 

An Australian publisher has backed away from plans to publish a book about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on Australian politics and academe due to fear of potential legal action, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The book is titled Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia Into a Puppet State, and the author is Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Stuart University.

In an email to Hamilton, Robert Gorman, the chief executive of the publisher Allen & Unwin, wrote, "We have no doubt that Silent Invasion is an extremely significant book." But Gorman said he was concerned about "potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing," including the possibility of a "a vexatious defamation action against Allen & Unwin, and possibly against you personally as well."

"I'm not aware of any other instance in Australian history where a foreign power has stopped publication of a book that criticizes it," Hamilton told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The reason they've decided not to publish this book is the very reason the book needs to be published," Hamilton said.

Allen & Unwin said in a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald, "Allen & Unwin has published a number of books with Clive Hamilton and has enormous respect for him and his work. After extensive legal advice, we decided to delay publication of Clive's book Silent Invasion until certain matters currently before the courts have been decided. Clive was unwilling to delay publication and requested the return of his rights, as he is entitled to do. We continue to wish him the best of luck with the book."

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